Baltimore County News
E-devices now available for library patrons to use in branches and borrow
Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) is starting off the new year with new technology in its collection for loan and in-branch usage, thanks to funding from Baltimore County Government. The new items, which include Playaway Locks, Chromebooks, GoChips and mobile training labs, will be available at all of BCPL’s 19 branches.
While all BCPL locations have public computers, adding these take-home devices to the collection allows Baltimore County residents the flexibility to advance their technical skills and overall digital literacy as their schedule permits.
“The availability of these devices provides tools for every citizen in Baltimore County to have access to acquire the skills and resources needed for success," said BCPL Director Paula Miller. "Access to these devices will help to lessen the ‘digital divide’ by providing equal access to those that may not have the opportunity to learn and experiment with technology.”
“We initiated this new tech option in our libraries because adding these e-devices allows County residents to access the latest technology, be more computer-literate, and learn the technical skills that are so vital now in our workplaces and global economy,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
Beginning today, BCPL’s 19 branches have the following:
- 210 Playaway Locks (e-readers) loaded with five books on each one. The Playaway Locks float (like all the other materials at the library) – which means it is shelved wherever it is returned by customers. Customers are able to request from one branch to another for pickup. Loan period is three weeks. http://playaway.com/lock/
- 380 Chromebooks with equal distribution to each of the 19 branches (20 at each branch). This is similar to a laptop and provides an opportunity for people to access the internet. Also, customers are able to request from one branch to another for pickup. Loan period is seven days. Chromebooks come preloaded with a variety of apps. https://www.google.com/chromebook/
- Two Mobile Training Labs each complete with 20 student and one (1) instructor laptop per lab. Each lab is a set of 20 laptops to float between branches for staff and customer training via programming.
- Available in early 2017: GoChips, a portable device preloaded with video content of movies or television series that can be connected wirelessly to a smartphone, tablet or computer without managing storage, internet streaming or data charges. Quantity and loan period TBD. https://gochip.com/
This purchase was made possible by Baltimore County Government as part of a budget initiative of County Executive Kamenetz. The FY17 budget included $500,000 in the Office of Information Technology’s Enhanced Productivity Thru Technology capital project. More information is available on BCPL technology at http://bcpl.info/technology
Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) has served the citizens of Baltimore County since 1948. With 19 branches throughout Baltimore County, BCPL empowers and engages individuals for a more inclusive and connected Baltimore County community, and provides opportunities to explore, learn, create and connect. In addition to loaning books, library card holders may borrow DVDs, music, ebooks and gain access to our research databases. Branches provide computer and internet access, job search assistance and offer a multitude of daily learning programs for adults and children. For more information about branches and services, visit bcpl.info or follow BCPL on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
County’s IT group has won 25 awards this year alone!
The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has been recognized for multiple projects by national marketing and communications professionals. They were awarded six gold awards and four honorable mentions in the 2016 MarCom Awards competition for their outstanding work for the Baltimore County Public Library Annual Report microsite, the Web Writing and Design Style Guide, the Baltimore County Government Global Navigation Redesign and Responsive Design project, and the Baltimore County Government Open Data project.
This global competition honors individuals and groups who have made superior contributions to the concept, writing and design of print, visual, audio, and web marketing materials and programs. The MarCom Awards strive to recognize creativity, hard work, and generosity of marketing and communications professionals.
The MarCom Awards are administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. This international organization consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, media production and freelance professionals.
The County continues to be recognized in their pursuit of excellence. With this most recent recognition from the MarCom Awards, the County has now been honored with a total of 25 information technology awards so far this year.
“Congratulations to our entire information technology team for this recognition of their outstanding skills and dedication to continuously improving the way that we engage the public and communicate about County services,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
Trash and Recycling Collection Normal, Drop-off Facilities Open
Baltimore County government offices, and the District and Circuit Courts, will be closed two days next week, Tuesday, November 8 for Election Day and Friday, November 11 in recognition of Veterans Day. Health Department clinics, and senior centers will be closed, and CountyRide vans will not operate. Libraries will be open, parking meters must be fed and Baltimore County Revenue Authority parking garages will be open as usual.
Trash and recyclables will be collected according to the normal schedule. The County’s trash and recycling drop-off facilities will be open. Residents can log onto www.baltimorecountymd.gov/solidwaste for more information about recycling and trash collection, including schedules and drop-off center locations and hours. Residents may also call the Bureau of Solid Waste Management at 410-887-2000.